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charge at work on 120 in the cold? worth it?


Jun 26, 2020
So, I am able to charge at work, but only on a 120 outlet. I live in the cold climate, so it dips below 0F often in the dead of winter.

Is it worth it for me to plug in for 8 hours at 12A 120V and hit start charge? I know I obviously won't gain anything, but is it worth it to keep the pack warm and maybe just not lose as much? Or does it do more harm than good to plug it in like this?

just trying to do what's best for my MY while its not tucked in its warm heated garage at home lol
  • Disagree
Reactions: user212_nr

Snow Drift

Pirelli P Zero Winter
Feb 10, 2016
Long Island
I used to get 5mi/hr on a 120v in an apartment garage in NY, where it gets cold. Doing this at work is not life changing if you can L2 charge at home, but for us, who did this everyday, it made a huge difference vs. supercharging once a week in the winter.

If you are just doing this for fun, or to try and heat up the battery, give it a try and see if it gives you more regen when you leave the office. If not, maybe let someone who really needs the charge location use it.


Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
If you charge for 8 hours, even at 0F temperature, the Tesla's battery management system will warm the battery pack to an acceptable temperature then start charging. If the battery temperature starts to drop while charging the Tesla will again warm up the battery. This will extend the time needed to charge but it will charge.

When you arrive at work, when you would be charging at 120V/16A, the battery pack will not have been cold soaked, i.e. you charged overnight at home and drove to work. Once the battery pack has been warmed to an acceptable temperature for charging the pack will retain this heat for quite a few hours due to the large thermal mass of the pack. While charging the battery pack may require some additional warming every couple of hours.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
This will extend the time needed to charge but it will charge.
Right up until you hit that point where it takes more than ~1.4kw to power the car’s electronics, charging circuitry, and battery heater to maintain an appropriate pack temp - at which point you definitely won’t charge.
  • Like
Reactions: M3BlueGeorgia


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
Sure it’s worth it. As mentioned your pack will be warm when you arrive (well maybe, depends on commute length and how cold it is). Also the colder the pack is the lower it can accept some charging. So you might get more charge than you think.

Also if it’s a true 20A outlet get a 20A adapter. The one supplied with the car is 15A.
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Reactions: alexcue


Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
Just a WAG but if you charge for 8 hours at 120V/12A (1.44kW) that would be 11.5kWh. I would expect that you would be able to add 9 or more kWh to the battery during this time, even accounting for periodically having to warm the battery.
  • Informative
Reactions: srlawren

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